Musical and Emotional Connections.

In Language Arts this year we made Ted-like Talks about our passions. My Ted-like Talk was about Musical and Emotional Connections. It is said that it causes our bodies to release dopamine, a neurotransmitter that happens when doing pleasurable things, such as eating. It is scientifically proven that listening to music before bed improves sleep quality. It helps create alpha waves in our brains. These waves make us calmer and more relaxed. Another thing about music is it can carry you back to your past. When I hear a song that I haven’t heard in a long time, it brings me back to when I used to listen to it. Music helps to act as oxytocin. This is the hormone that is associated with positivity and happy thoughts. Also known as the love hormone, it helps build empathy and trust. It also reduces our cortisol levels causing us much less stress. 

In addition, amateur singers who sing for 1 to 2 hours a day are proven to be happier and have better sleep, than people that listen to less and don’t hum or sing along. 

Those are some of the lines from my script. I really enjoyed this project because I got to talk about my passion and share what I know with others. I also talked about and shared some songs I love called, IDGAF by Dua Lipa, In The Stars by Benson Boone, and Happy by Pharrell Williams.

I even learned some about my topic. I learned about the singers’ lives, about what your hormones do while listening to music, and I learned how hard it is to make something deep even if it is only five minutes long. Making Ted-like Talks has definitely been a pleasure.

Tree Books With Peg Gignoux

In the 6th grade LA class, we made tree books with the artist Peg Gignoux. We started by painting these huge white sheets of paper blue, black, and other dark colors. Then we cut them and folded them. After we did that we put these poems onto sheets of thick cardstock using paint, then we cut them into tree shapes and glued them onto the sheets of paper we had made earlier. Creating the base of our books. we brought in leaves and used them to make akua ink papers on dictionary sheets. We just put ink on gel pads, put on leaves, and paper, and used a roller to roll the paper onto the ink, and VOILA! You have a beautiful design. Then we wrote poems, stories, and lists one of each actually. We wrote a poem called When This is Over, a reference to COVID19. We wrote a story called Salute to My Roots, and we wrote a life list. 

My favorite thing about this project was writing the poems; it made me think hard about what humans have gone through because of this disease. It has torn us apart but brought us together at the same time. Yet in a human’s state of panic, the animals they are in peace hunting well, happy. It’s so wonderful what COVID has done for the environment. I loved writing about it. 


Here is my poem:


When This is Over

By Dara Ellis


When this is over

may we never again take for granted

Being able to grab two bags of toilet paper 

at the grocery store

Visiting Florida 

without having to test for COVID

Taking in air at a restaurant 

without wearing a mask

Walking through the mall 

amongst several people

Going to a basketball or volleyball game and 

watching the best team, Duke 

Splashing in the pool with my friends 

Making secret handshakes 

Slurping up ice cream while still inside 

Inviting 16 people to a birthday party

Going to the restaurant every Thursday

Being able to take a day of for the snow 

Going on roller coasters 

and down crazy water slides

Sharing snacks at school 

Playing sports in an indoor gym 

Free samples at Costco 

Touching everything in the store

Making new friends 

and seeing them all the time

The warm fuzzy feeling of entering my house

Walking wherever I want to 

whenever I want to

Seeing my family and friends’ faces everyday 

Sharing my face so others can see my smile 

or my frown

Not having to do all the chores

like wiping down handles

Going on a Disney cruise 

without masks

Making a volleyball team 

smiling and screaming through the soreness of 

serving, setting, and digging

4 carts full of volleyballs

Hugging my family, happily, smiling 


When this ends

May we find

That we are caring

And that we work hard for each other

May we find that we never do hurtful things to each other

And understand when one another is hurt 

When this passes 

May we remember 

All the things we missed

And let’s be passionate 

and nice to each other


I really loved my project. It was so fun. We talked about our families, our lives, and our hopes and dreams. This project was definitely worth the time we spent on it. At first, it seemed kinda weird, art? Isn’t this LA? But then when we did the poems it all started to make sense. This was a super cool idea and I am so glad my class did it.

Stock Experiment

In Language Arts, we are reading a book called The Westing Game. In the book, there is a reference to stocks, so our teacher came up with a fun math and stock experiment. In the experiment, we chose five or six stocks to buy our goal was to use $20,000. I only succeeded in using $16,975.96 so I probably could have bought more stocks but I decided not to. I bought five stocks and they were Apple, Disney, Nike, Spotify, and Amazon. I chose Disney because I thought it was a pretty cool company. I like Disney and lots of people go there. I chose Apple because almost everyone I know owns an Apple phone or device, and everyone at school has an iPad. I chose Nike because people wear Nike shoes and my brother had just bought Nike air force ones. I chose Spotify because I listen to it extremely often so I just did. And I chose amazon because honestly who doesn’t use amazon.

On May 12, 2022, we sold our stocks to see how much we would gain, or lose my total loss was -$4404.36. It was a little disappointing. It was kind of sad. I honestly never thought stocks could be so helpful and amazing.

I learned that when investing in the stock market you have to be careful things will fall, rise, and dip. I also learned that it can be kind of crazy when someone’s stocks go down. It’s a tragedy. I have never actually invested in the stock market so I learned how to do it correctly. I also learned that things almost never happen the way you would want them to so you really have to think carefully.

So in conclusion, I learned a lot about stocks and even about Google Sheets. I also got a chance to put some of my math skills into play. Although it wasn’t real it was fun, thrilling, and awesome. I am so glad I had that learning opportunity.



6th Grade Planetarium Visit

On Wednesday, April 27th, the whole 6th grade went to the Planetarium. I was in group 2. We started by going to the live science show. We learned about static energy, liquid nitrogen, and more. We talked a little about elasticity as well. After science time, we headed out to the active exhibits. We were able to try to protect the coast on ipads, look in “space,” and look through magnifying glasses.

When we went into the dome it was dark, the dome was a pink hue and when we sat down the roof turned to a night sky. We learned about how astronauts survive in space, how they train to get ready, and what the dangers in space are. The movie was called astronauts. After the movie, we talked about constellations and the solar system’s orbit.

When we went to the science exhibits we started by talking about gravity, everyone was shocked when the bowling ball hit the mat. It was loud! We also talked about electromagnetism, friction, and liquid nitrogen. It was very fun, exciting, and more. And the exhibits, we learned about magnetism, new technologies, stars, and how to build a coastline.

Awesome Books to Read

I love this book so much it is one of my all-time favorite books. I recommend it to anyone that likes romance and passion. This book will get you hoping and taking sides. This book is about a girl named America. When I first started reading it I thought it was pretty good but once I got past chapter three it sucked me in and I read the rest in a day it was so good and I have read it 12 times. You should definitely read this if you are into books about love.

This book is by Kiera Cass, I love all of her books. The Selection has a couple books in series that I have also read. Kiera Cass also wrote a book called siren it is also a romance but has loads of drama.

One other romance series she wrote was The Betrothed. Her books are crazy good. There is violence, passion, heartbreak, and drama, and it makes you wish they would never end.

The book I am currently reading is Coming Up For Air by Miranda Kenneally. This is a modern-day romance book. And has a lot of drama and craziness. I have already read it once and I am rereading it.


My Crazy Comic

In Language ARts class we made comics about wisdom tales. What is a wisdom tale? A wisdom tale is a story that was used to teach lessons or morals to people and their kids. Out of all of the wisdom tales we read I chose Old Dog and Coyote. It had a very common moral be kind  to others and they will likely help and be kind to you in return. I chose it because it had a important story to say and I hoped I could help spell or in this case draw it out. As you can hopefully see this story is about an old dog who helped a overconfident coyote who could have died trying too jump over a cactus. In return, the coyote acted scared to fool the farmer and to help the dog get food. This originated in Mexico and is a short yet spectacular tale of trust, kindness, and happiness. To draw this comic I used two drawing apps.  To draw the animals I used SketchBook and for everything else I used ibisPaint X pronounced I. B. I. S paint X. That is how I made my comic and I would love to hear any feedback or drawing tips.

Passing Time

Over the weekend on Sunday I had a volleyball clinic at Triangle Volleyball. I had so much fun and managed to maintain a happy and positive attitude. We practiced bumping/passing and played several games. One of the games we played was short court, queen of the court  style of course. The rules are very similar to queen of the court in tennis, basketball, or soccer. You start the ball over the net and if you hit it twice, let it hit the floor, or it went out of bounds then you lose and the other person obviously wins. If you lose on the queen side you go back to the line but if you win on the challenger side then you go to the queen’s side. I had so much fun and my passing really improved. I can’t wait to go next week.

My Daily Habit

In Language Arts we had a daily habit that we did every day in class, planking. As we planked longer and longer I got used to doing planks in class. I realized that as I planked I started to think I couldn’t do it and I couldn’t but over some time I kept thinking, “ I got this!  You can do this Dara!” and I did and I got better. I got used to it over time. I didn’t need to encourage myself because it was a habit and I didn’t need to encourage myself anymore I could just do it.

I didn’t really like planking but I noticed that if I planked every day my body would get used to moving in that way and it would become a habit. We started slowly for a short period of time and once my body was used to that and was strong enough I would be able to do it for longer periods of time.

Even though I didn’t love this activity as it had something to do with planking for three minutes straight I think that doing stuff like that is good for our brains because it gets us used to doing an action every day and allows us to not think too much about it and just do it instead.

My new habit is being a Flippy Octopus seamstress and working on Octavia, Berry, and Blobby’s outfit’s, their wardrobe and house every morning and break in advisory.  The reason I chose this habit is because I love it and it is really fun. It will pretty easy to master and give me a challenge that I will have to face with determination. Building a house out of tape and Popsicle sticks is hard.  

At first I wanted to sing a song every day but I already do that because it’s fun for me. It took me a little while to decide on what to do but I like craft and octopuses so this habit fit me.

Photo Booth Friday!

A while ago when my cousins were over m family did a photo shoot with LED light backdrop, it was pretty awesome. Here is a picture of me acting like some really grumpy bad guy. Me my brother and my cousin all took turns doing photos and we had a great time, we wore sunglasses, capes, hats, and reluctantly feather scarves.  We had a great time and I can’t wait for more photo time!

Window or Mirror

Ever After High by Shannon Hale is a book that I really loved to read.  A window is when you read or watch something and you see something you don’t relate to, but a mirror is when you read or watch something and you have things in common with the character’s life. For me Ever After High is both a window and a mirror. Of course in Ever After High there is magic and kingdoms and mirror prisons but those aren’t real in my life which is one of the reasons that Ever After High is a window. I also don’t have an evil queen for my mom, as Raven the main character does.

The reason that it’s a mirror for me is because Raven doesn’t have many friends because people think she is mean and evil because of her mom’s reputation, she is often lonely and she loves music. I relate to this because sometimes I get excluded and people don’t like me because they might think I am mean, and I also LOVE music. As you can see Raven and I have things in common. When it comes to our personalities, but when it comes to where and how we live? Well, we don’t have much in common.

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